Coffee processing takes place right after coffee cherries are harvested. The coffee cherries are then hulled and the beans are separated from the fruit. Next, the coffee beans are washed and dried. Finally, the coffee beans are roasted to perfection.
There are three main ways to process coffee: dry, wet, and honey processing. Today we will dive into the last one.
For honey processed coffees, common flavor profiles include sweet, caramel-like, and nutty. It usually has a bit of extra sweetness due to the sugars in the honey coating the beans as well as still having some of this fruit layer intact, which helps to keep the acidity levels lower.
Honey processed coffee is a bit of a hybrid between washed and natural processing. It usually has a bit of extra sweetness due to the sugars in the honey coating the beans The farmers will sort the coffee cherries by ripeness and put them into a de-pulping machine. However, instead of fermentation, the sticky pulp surrounding the bean is removed using water and machines. The beans are then sun-dried on raised beds like in the washed method. The final step is to remove the honey-like coating on the bean which gives this type of coffee its name.
Be sure to try coffees processed with the honey method to see what unique flavors you can uncover!